My apologies to Star Wars but what better title could I use on New Year’s day 2014 starting a new business venture – Tiny Business Mentor (TBM)? Later today I will add the link to my opening paper on Amazon.com “A short paper on Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) operations planning”.  Here’s an excerpt: ——————————————————————————————————— SOHO: Small office/home office (or single office/home office; SOHO) refers to the category of business or cottage industry that involves from 1 to 10 workers. Downloaded from Wikipedia on12/29/2013 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_office/home_office What are the critical, profit creating and business sustaining operations that a SOHO needs to be aware of?  Based on industry best practices and years of experience this paper provides the key elements that a SOHO owner needs to know.  Following the practices provided here will go a long way towards keeping your SOHO a source of fulfillment and profit rather than frustration and loss. My primary source for industry’s best practices is the Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration for Services (CMMI-SVC).

Prolog

I’ve been involved in many projects large and small both as a project leader and team member.  It’s been my experience that the projects that were both smaller and shorter needed greater attention to things like budget and schedule because there was less room for error.  If a large project that was scheduled to last 18 months ran over budget for 1 or 2 months there would be time to detect and correct the problem, assuming it wasn’t the last few months.  On the other hand, a small project that is scheduled to last 3 months had the same problem by the time the problem is detected the project is almost over and there’s no time for any kind of recovery action.  I think a SOHO business is very much like a small short project, i.e. not a whole lot of room for detection of problems and their recovery.  One of the key features of operations planning is to put some things into place early to keep those problems from happening and when they happen anyway give you the tools to detect them early and correct them quickly.  I know you know your business inside and out and are an expert in your field but you’re probably still not convinced that you need this “operations planning stuff”.

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